Cats love to spend their time exploring but this could lead to them returning home with injuries. Our Argyle vets discuss some common wounds that your cat could experience and how you should care for them.
Common Cat Wounds
Accidents are common among animals and people, and although cats are quite graceful creatures they are still susceptible to injuries.
While it may not be an emergency if your cat suffers from a minor wound, even smaller injuries require care as soon as possible. Without treatment, even minor wounds have a chance of becoming infected and cause severe health issues.
Here are some common wounds that your cat may suffer from at some point:
- Hot spots
- Insect bites
- Skin rashes
- Cat burns
- Scratches, cuts or scrapes
- Cat abscesses
Signs to look for
You should be sure to occasionally examine your cat for any of the following potential wounds:
- Missing fur
- Cut, scraped or torn skin
- Tenderness or pain
If a wound becomes infected you may notice:
- Discharge (pus) from the wound
- Signs of a fever
What you should do if your cat is wounded
If you have examined your cat and notice any signs or symptoms of a fresh wound you should:
- You will need to inspect your cat for any signs of infection – infection can happen no matter how recently the injury occurred. Some of the most common signs of infection are:
- Pus discharge
- Fever or lethargy
- Noticeable pain or discomfort
- Change in behavior
- Determine the severity of the wound – If the wound is serious, which will be easy to determine, then you should contact your vet immediately for veterinary attention. If the wound is less severe then you will still need to administer medical attention but you should be able to care for the injury at home.
- Manage the flow of blood – If your pet's wound is actively bleeding then you will need to slow the blood flow. You can easily do this by using a clean cloth to apply pressure directly to the wound for approximately 5 - 10 minutes until the bleeding. however, if you have been applying pressure and cannot get the bleeding to slow you should contact your vet right away.
- Flush the wound –Minor wounds can be easily cleaned using a wet cloth along with iodine or a saline solution. If possible you should also remove any debris possible during this time without rubbing.
- Apply an antimicrobial hydrogel – After you have assessed and thoroughly cleaned the wound you should now apply an antimicrobial treatment product such as Vetericyn Plus® Feline Antimicrobial Hydrogel, in order to speed up healing and prevent infection.
- Monitor the wound – Cleaning and providing bacterial protection for the wound is of the utmost importance, once you have done this you should continue to monitor your cat and the wound daily for any signs of inflammation or infection. Ensure that your cat does not chew at or lick the bandages or the wound itself during the healing process.
Your vet may be required to remove any fur at the site of the injury if the wound is severe and your cat needs immediate veterinary attention.
The treatment methods for your cat will vary greatly depending on the type of wound, the severity, the location of the injury as well as whether your cat is showing signs of infection.
Glue along with a thorough cleaning might typically be used if the wound is smaller, while more serious wounds that are deeper may require the removal of foreign objects or debris as well as a thorough cleaning and sutures to help the would stay sealed during the healing process.
If an infection is noted during the examination then your vet may choose to leave the wound open and focus the wound care on resolving the infection before then applying sutures once it has been cleared.
If your cat is suffering from an infection then your vet will prescribe medication. It is important to ensure that you follow the instructions exactly and that you complete the entire course of the prescription.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.